FB Posts

So, before I started this blog I was posting notes on Facebook instead. I thought I would post some of that stuff here just so I have it all in one place. I have it listed oldest to newest.

Posted April 19, 2011

This is taken from a letter Mike wrote me. Reading them helps. Glad we saved these...maybe he knew one day I would need them.

"Mel, I will do anything in my power to make you happy, because you've already made me very happy by being with me. Thank you for being so darned near perfect (Boy that sounded kooky). No one is perfect except the man himself, but you have really been blessed. Again what I'm trying to say is, well, darn it, ...it may have sounded a little corny at times, or you may have gotten lost, or maybe I'm just over explaining again like I have a habit of doing . So, when it comes down to it, what I'm trying to say is...I love you for as long as you want my love and longer. I love you. Good night.

Undoubtedly, Absolutely, Incontestably, Sincerely Yours,

J. Michael Dawson

Posted April 20, 2011

Last note for awhile, but had to post this. The last song Sebastian listened to with Mike was "The Presidents" by Jonathan Coulton. Here is a copy of an email I sent to him on Sunday and his response.

"My name is Melanie Dawson. My husband, Mike, and I saw you open for TMBG last year. We immediately bought all of your albums and became huge fans. Mike got people at work listening to you, and listening to your music became a favorite for our whole family, but especially for Mike and our older son Sebastian who is 11. Mike and I were really excited to learn that you would be playing in Alexandria, VA in May. We kept telling each other over the last few weeks that we needed to buy tickets, but life got busy and we hadn't done it. On April 14, 2011 my husband passed away unexpectedly, he was only 35. My son is grieving and one way that he is remembering his dad is by listening to some of your songs that were their favorites. One of the last songs they listened to together was "The Presidents".  I've woken several nights to find Sebastian on the computer listening to this song over and over again. In an effort to keep his fathers memory alive I just bought my son and I tickets to the Alexandria concert. I know it's a long shot and I don't know if you will even get or read this e-mail, but if you do and there is any way possible for you to play that song during this concert it would mean a lot to a little 11 year old boy"


Melanie Dawson

Here is the response I just got from Jonathan Coulton

Hey Melanie,

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband, I can't imagine how difficult it must be to go through something like that. If you and Sebastian get even the smallest bit of comfort from that or any of my songs, then I am honored and grateful. I'll certainly play that song at the show, though I must warn you that I cannot EVER remember all the lyrics correctly - traditionally that song is performed in a way that is best described as "so full of mistakes as to seem unprofessional." I hope you don't take offense.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. I hope you both are bearing up as well as can be expected, and I'll see you in Alexandria.


I am taking this as a sign that Mike is watching over us, and hopefully he will watch the concert with us from above. Miss you my love.
Posted April 22, 2011


So, I know I keep saying I won't post anymore stuff, but sharing helps me feel closer to him. I thought I would post what I said at the funeral.

"I feel the need to share some thoughts and funny moments to help me remember this day as not one of just mourning, but a time to remember all the good.

Mike's favorite job was not working at Westvaco, although he loved the people he worked with. His favorite job was being a dad. He loved his children more than anything else in the whole world. He was the kind of dad who loved being there for every part of their lives. He often changed more diapers than I did...however that might have been because he didn't have a sense of smell.  He loved watching his children in everything they did and especially in their different sports. He would practice soccer with Sebastian and cheer him on at games. For Tyler's gymnastics he might have been the only dad to know what a kip or a back hip circle was. He sewed costumes, did most of the Christmas shopping, and made sure all their video game needs were taken care of. Then he would enjoy the video games just as much as they did. He shared his love of music with them and it's evident by the Metallica sticker that Sebastian wanted on his laptop. Mason can often be found bobbing his head to the songs Mike played most often.

He was a fan of everything Star Wars and now even Sebastian knows more about it than I do. Mike was an artist that enjoyed sharing his gift when he knew it would make someone smile. He wouldn't take many requests from other people, but he would always take the time to create whatever I asked of him.

Mike and I have been together for almost 15 years. To say that Mike and I had our quirks would be an understatement. Mike always hung up his car keys, and I always lost mine. One day as I frantically searched the house for my keys Mike stood back and laughed until finally I realized they were hanging from the ceiling. I often told Mike I could dodge the raindrops and he understood my fear of mayonnaise. Likewise, I knew all of his favorite bands and supported his need to collect everything Star Wars, or Nine Inch nails related. He lived through his music and I often knew how he felt based on the music that he chose to play, and he knew the same about me.

He loved me for me and I'm not sure anyone else could do that. No one else would have taken me to a They Might Be Giants concert because it was my favorite band. No one else would have known every word to every song, and later admit that they had a good time.

I watched Mike grow from a handsome young man with hair longer than mine, into an incredible husband and dad with a receding hair line. That's okay because he often pointed out any gray hair I had.

Mike had a great love for his mom, dad, sister, brother and extended family. He often commented that he hated how busy life was, because he didn't get to see them enough. However, I hope it comforts you to know that you all were often the topic of conversation in our home. He loved you even if he didn't get to tell you enough.

I keep telling people I'm just not sure how we are going to function and move on without him. How do we pick up the pieces? However, there have been times when I can almost hear Mike whispering in my ear a favorite quote, as if he's trying to comfort me. As we grieve the loss of this amazing man, and wonder how we are going to make it, he would simply quote Yoda and say "Do or do not...there in no try."

Posted April 30, 2011

Mike and I were different in so many ways, but we seemed to balance each other out. Here are some comparisons and things that I want to share.

1) Most of the time I'm an optimist, and Mike was a pessimist. That's okay because he often kept me grounded and I could lift his spirits.
2) I like Disney movies and he liked classic horror films. He took me to see animated movies and I would cover my eyes and jump during his movies.
3) He ate his veggies growing up and I didn't. Not sure why that's important. He also had a habit of mixing all his food together when he ate, and I hate for my food to touch...it's gross.
4) He liked heavy metal and I liked alternative stuff, but we both respected each others music and came to like a lot of things that the other liked.
5) Mike was artistic in every way and with any medium, and really Duck Tape is my only creative medium. He often laughed at my Duck tape obsession.
6) Mike was able to connect with the kids on so many levels. A few weeks before he passed I came home from a meeting to find the kids jumping on the trampoline in their bathing suits as Mike sprayed them with the water hose. I shook my head and went inside and then made them come in to finish homework. They will always think of their dad as being much cooler than their mom. I need to take a cue from him and lighten up some.
7) Mike had a way with words and I just seem to flounder with them.
8) Mike and I could be rather competitive. I rock at Guitar Hero and Dr. Mario, and he often beat me at Scrabble.
9) Mike was a planner, and I am impulsive. This made home improvement projects interesting :)

While we were exact opposites in some things, there were a lot of things we had in common. We were pretty sentimental.  I have the wrapping paper from the gifts he gave me our first Christmas together when we were dating, and as I went through my box of keepsakes I found a pine cone that  Mike gave me years ago when we had taken a hike. From his wooden ring on my necklace to my Disney comic books I'm grateful for all those things we kept. Not only will he never be far from my heart, but I have so many small tangible things that have incredible memories attached to them.